FLOWERS express all kinds of loving feelings. And for businessman Yuri Barrameda, a bouquet of flowers is not enough to demonstrate his love.
So he turned an area tucked away nicely in Malubog, an upland Cebu City barangay, into a terrace garden and filled it with all sorts of plants and blooms. He called it Terrazas de Flores, a testament of this father’s love for his children—Andrea Carmela, 16; Cheska, 10; and Moses, nine.
“His inspiration are his three children. They are his life,” said Lenny Lyn Lapiña, Yuri’s business partner, who welcomed us during our visit.
She owns the cafe located in the heart of the one-hectare botanical garden.
Inside the cafe, one hears the chirping of birds and the sound of running water from a small waterfall. “This place is eight years in the making,” said Lenny when asked how Yuri started the botanical haven, boasting 127 species of plants, including Celosia flowers, an attraction in the nearby barangay of Sirao.
Back in 2007 the lot was just another hill and Yuri thought of developing the area after two years. The 56-terraced garden was created by green-thumbed residents of Barangay Malubog. The terraces are made of interlocking stones, so even when the rain pours hard, the area wouldn’t be prone to soil erosion.
“Local farmers are the ones maintaining the garden,” Lenny added. “We also employed some of them for the cafe.”A good 15-minute ride from the city, Terrazas de Flores is a charming little hideaway up in the hills, but not too remote.
One can linger at the cafe and bask in the picturesque view—the mountains of Balamban town in the distance and the lush greenery surrounding
you. Imagine this relaxed rustic scene and the sweet aroma of coffee… We were jolted out of our reverie when Lenny directed our attention to a painting on wall. “Those are his three kids,” Lenny tells us.
One of Yuri’s ideas is to make Terrazas de Flores a venue for creativity, a place for Cebuano visual art and poetry, ” said Lenny.
A WITNESS OF LOVE
From the cafe, one can venture farther into the left going beyond the pathway, with vines crawling on overhead arcs leading to the
There are three cabanas, again representing Andrea Carmela, Cheska and Moses, rendered in different colors for each one’s favorite: blue, pink and green.
Or if you plan to burn some calories, you can explore the garden that is home to 127 plant species identified by the Botanical Society of the University
of San Carlos (USC) and learn about their scientific names.
“Sir Yuri would usually stay here and just observe lovers spending time at the garden. Kiligon mana siya magtan-aw nila mag date,” she said.
However, not everyone who pays a visit to Terrazas de Flores is a happy soul. There are those who need a quiet moment, those going through a difficult time, like this particular girl. “One of our visitors left a handwritten note, thanking us for an amazing place to do soul-searching,” said Lenny.
It goes:“Ladies, your place is such a delight. The silent time I spent here has lightened my heavy heart. Thank you for showing me kindness through your service God bless your business. Hope to be back. Blessings!”
The botanical garden opened in October last year, and was relaunched this February.
With another hectare to develop, Yuri plans to put more facilities in place especially for those who love an outdoor adventure, like a stargazing deck, a
hanging bridge and more cabins on the forest side of the hill.
Terrazas de Flores is open on weekdays from 8 a.m to 9 p.m. and on weekends from 8 a.m. to 12 midnight. For reservations, call 0917-6534227 or send a
message via Terrazas de Flores’ Facebook page.